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SKETCHES

or

AMERICAN CHARACTER.

WALTER WILSON.

"If e'er thy heart incline to thoughts of Love,
Think not to meet the gentle passion joined
With pomp and greatness : Courts may boast of Beauty
But Love is seldom found to dwell amongst them.
He seeks the cottage in the tufted grove,
The russet fallows, and the verdant lawns,
The clear, cool brook, and the deep woody glade,
Bright winter fires, and summer evening hues :
These he prefers to gilded roofs and crowns.
There he delights to pair the constant swain
With the sweet, unaffected, virtuous maid:
Here is his empire, here his choice to reign,
Here, where he dwells with Innocence and Truth.”

Row.

TRAVELLERS, who have made the tour of Europe, always dwell with peculiar delight on the sunny skies of Italy; and a host of domestic writers, never, perhaps, in the whole course of their existence, beyond that seeming boundary where their eyes first beheld the horizon apparently closing around them, join their voices in the chorus of the sunny skies of Italy!

Let them lard their poems and stories with threadbare descriptions of the rosy twilight,

and silvery moonbeams,' and 'gorgeous sunrise'-I confess, these copied delineations have little interest for me.- America, 'my own, my native land '—0! the rudest mountain, and wildest wood of thy varied landscape, is far dearer to my heart, and more inspiring to my imagination, than the sublime antiquities and unrivalled natural charms of that clime, where all, save the spirit of man, is divine.' It is the free expression of that spirit, which, when irradiated by liberty, and instructed by knowledge, is all but divine, that gives to Americans their peculiar characteristics. To exhibit some of those traits, originated by our free institutions, in their manifold and minute effects on the minds, manners, and habits of the citizens of our republic, is the design of these Sketches. How well the design is fulfilled, the decision of the public taste, must decide.

Walter Wilson was the only child of a man who had once been an eminent merchant in Boston, but losses and misfortunes suddenly reduced him to bankruptcy, and he died, broken-hearted,

before Walter had attained his seventh year. Mrs. Wilson, with her little boy, then retired to the house of her father, a good industrious farmer, residing in the county of Franklin; where she might have dwelt in quietness, had not the elevation from which she had fallen, and which, in truth, she had not borne very meekly, continually mortified her pride. Her impatient repinings were not heard with much sympathy by her own family,

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